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Old 03-03-2011, 07:38 AM   #1
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How can GPL be approved by OSI as opensource??

According to the Open Source Initiative an open source license must among all other things be "9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software: The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software." now GPL v2 (and all oher versions) instead require "You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License. ", basically this is the reason why GPL is considered a viral license: because any works derived from a copyleft work must themselves be copyleft when distributed (and thus they exhibit a viral phenomenon).
Now the problem is in wikipedia I see that GPL is approved by OSI as open source, but the point 9 of OSI and the virality of GPL should be incompatible with each other!
Old 03-03-2011, 08:10 AM   #2
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Not at all. I can distribute GPLv2 software on the same CD as a proprietary program, and there is nothing wrong with doing so. The GPLv2 does not state that the proprietary program must be open source.

Old 03-03-2011, 08:15 AM   #3
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To release a software along with your software on the same medium is something completely different than a "derivative work". The GPL talks about "derivative works", that means a program is written using source code of another software, or the program cannot run without the other software (linked dynamically). But you can distribute two independent programs on the same medium, GPL has no problem with different licenses in that case.
Old 03-03-2011, 09:10 AM   #4
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You convinced me, but restricting the distribution on the same medium of two softwares with different licenses seemed strange to me, does it exist a license which places restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software on the same medium??? and what do you mean by medium? One could argue I cannot place on the same shelf two different programs with different licenses!?!?!

thank you for replying


gpl, open source, osi

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